New strikes on Syria's rebel Douma kill 8 civilians

Remnants of improvised ground-launched rockets with suspected chlorine-filled heads

Barzeh is close to the eastern Damascus suburb of Harasta that opposition fighters evacuated last month following weeks of a crushing government offensive on eastern Ghouta.

A view of Syrian Arab Red Crescent, a humanitarian non-profit organisation, personnel delivering aid in Eastern Ghouta, Syria.

At least 30 people have been killed in heavy air strikes on the last rebel-held town in Syria's Eastern Ghouta region, activists and rescuers say.

Six civilians were also killed and dozens more wounded as Douma rebels shelled the capital Damascus on Saturday, Syrian state media said.

In the assault involved an elite Syrian unit, the Republican guard.

Jaish al-Islam said its rocket and artillery brigade were responding to what it described as a massacre by "the Assad militias and their ally the Russian warplanes".

The Army of Islam appears to have reached a deal with Russian Federation to relocate to parts of northern Syria controlled by Turkey-allied opposition forces.

Jaysh al-Islam members have resumed attacks against governmental forces in the city of Douma after new leaders seized power in the group, Head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties (part of Defense Ministry) Major-General Yuri Yevtushenko said on Saturday.




The nature of the ongoing discussions over Douma is unclear and Jaish al-Islam itself has not stated its position since this week's first evacuation.

Russia's military said the Army of Islam has forced out leaders who were taking part in negotiations to withdraw from Douma and that their fighters have resumed attacks.

"The negotiations have ended with failure".

The mortar shells fired by the Islam Army in Douma in the Eastern Ghouta countryside of the capital slammed several neighborhoods on Saturday, prompting the army to respond to the fire sources in Douma. State TV reporters also said the rebels must release abducted soldiers and civilians they said the group was holding as one of the conditions for halting the assault.

Jaish al-Islam, the last remaining rebel group in Eastern Ghouta, denies the accusation.

But Alloush, who is based outside Syria, indicated Jaish al-Islam was sticking by the demand to stay in Douma - a demand the government has rejected.

"It feels like we're back in the days of the Gaza war" when Israel was bombing the Palestinian enclave and people around the world watched, he said, giving his name only as Mohammed.

The evacuation agreements followed a Russia-backed government offensive in February and March that killed hundreds of people in Eastern Ghouta. Many more people had stayed, fearing what might follow departure from home towns they had not abandoned through seven years of war.On Friday, the buses stopped.Speaking before the airstrikes, the medical worker said he had made a decision to stay because his work was not finished.

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